There’s just one word fit enough to describe our second day in Chiang Mai. And that word is “magical.” We had a tantalizing glimpse of how enchanting this city is on our first day. But it’s only on the second day that we fully experienced the magic of Chiang Mai.
We felt the magic as we learned how to cook traditional northern Thai food at Boonpratana House. The magic was there when we visited the Thai Silk Village. It was everywhere that evening as we witnessed the Yi Peng Festival.
Learning northern Thai cuisine at Boonpratana House
The first item on the itinerary for our second day in Chiang Mai is a northern Thailand-style cooking class at Boonpratana House. Our host and guide for our entire time there is the wonderful Mama P.
Through Mama P’s guidance, my Soul Foodies learned how to make nam prik ong, som tam, khao soi, and bua loy. Nam prik ong is a spicy dipping sauce made with dried chilies. I personally picked this one because it looks like Thai spaghetti sauce.
Of course, we had to make som tam, also known as papaya salad. We eat som tam almost everywhere there’s Thai food, so why not learn how to make it?
Khao soi, on the other hand, is a traditional noodle soup with meat and vegetables. Bua loy is a dessert made with handmade glutinous rice balls and coconut milk.
We capped our day at Boonpratana House with learning how to make krathong. Krathong are small baskets used to carry offerings to the gods on festival days. These baskets are decorated and are light enough to float on water.
Our visit to the Boonpratana House is a truly topnotch experience. We enjoyed the family’s hospitality, and we’re sure to remember our time there for a really, really long time.
Falling in love with Thai silk
After our cooking class at Boonpratana House, we stopped at Thai silk village to learn the importance of Thai silk to the country’s culture and economy. More importantly, we discovered what it’s about and how it’s made.
My Soul Foodies instantly fell in love with Thai tribal designs, even though they’re not traditionally made with Thai silk. It’s hard not to because the fabric is just so beautiful.
Yi Peng Festival: A true soulful experience
The highlight of our second day in Chiang Mai is, without a doubt, Yi Peng. It’s a lunar festival that the Lanna people celebrate on the second month of their calendar. The Yi Peng Festival coincides with Loi Krathong, another lunar festival observed in other parts of Thailand.
Attending the Yi Peng Festival has been part of my bucket list for almost 20 years. I’ve lived in Thailand for more than half of my life, but I have never been to Chiang Mai to see Yi Peng. Now that I’ve seen it, I can say that it’s a truly magical, soul-feeding experience.
At Yi Peng, we saw a lot of traditional dances and performances. The best part of the festival is the lighting of paper lanterns and letting them float to the sky. I encouraged my Soul Foodies to write down their dreams, fears, and special wishes on the lanterns and just let them go. Watching these lanterns float away was simply surreal.
This second day in Chiang Mai couldn’t have been more perfect. Thank you, Universe, and thank you, Chiang Mai.
Watch the episode here: https://bit.ly/2yWSBwT